Preparing for the Safeguarding Adults in Sport Framework – An Active Partnership’s Approach From Active Dorset

Preparing for the Safeguarding Adults in Sport Framework - An Active Partnership’s Approach From Active Dorset

Annie Hargreaves is a Physical Activity Officer in the Children and Young People team for Active Dorset, as well as the Deputy Safeguarding Lead for the organisation. In this post, she outlines her experiences in preparing for The Ann Craft Trust Safeguarding Adults in Sport Framework.

Active Dorset is one of 43 Active Partnerships in England. As an organisation, we work collaboratively with partners in Dorset through a system change approach. Our aim is to increase the numbers of people who are supported to become more physically active.

We want Dorset to be a place where people can choose to enjoy an active lifestyle through participation in sport and physical activity. High quality advice and advocacy can support change in systems and behaviours among leaders, organisations, and individuals.

We must recognise sport and physical activity for the positive impact it has on physical and mental wellbeing, educational attainment, social cohesion, and economic development.

Safeguarding is a standing item in our monthly team meeting. The Lead Safeguarding Officer and I share a monthly update during that time, which is relayed to the Board of Trustees through quarterly reports and meetings.

Our approach to preparing for the Safeguarding Adults in Sport Framework

Last year, we agreed with The Ann Craft Trust that we would complete the Safeguarding Adults in Sport Framework by December 2023.

To manage the workload involved with the Framework, we initially liaised with other Active Partnerships to understand their experience of the process. Following that, we consulted with our Senior Management Team and Board of Trustees, and agreed our own process: To use the six themes of the Framework, aiming at one per month through March to August or September.

We wanted to give ourselves time to consider our current position and to identify what we needed to do. We also wanted to stay in continuous consultation with The Ann Craft Trust to guide our approach. Our aim, therefore, is to be ready by end of the October 2023. This preparation will help us complete the Framework within the six-week submission period, by mid-December. This timeline has factored in a two month buffer of time, should we need it, so that we can focus the time needed for this essential part of our work.

Collecting evidence

In advance of the Framework window in November and December, we wanted to simplify the process of collecting the evidence we’ll need to submit. So, we have added an additional column to the Framework template. This column will be a place to collate relevant links to the evidence that we will want to submit for each section of the six themes. We are coding these and storing them in one place on SharePoint.

As our team is currently expanding in number, our progress through the themes has prompted us to address some of our current practices. For example, at present we’re looking at theme 4, which covers Safe Recruitment. This focus is helping us to make informed decisions around the different needs for Disclosure and Barring checks among new and existing members of the team. We’re also considering our volunteer workforce who engage with adults in two different areas of Dorset.

By preparing for the Framework in the way that we are, we have time to include the Active Dorset team, the Senior Management Team and the Board of Trustees in our journey. We’ll also be able to continue to consult with these groups throughout the rest of the process. This helps to champion the #saferculturesafersport campaign and reinforce that safeguarding in Active Dorset is everyone’s responsibility.

Learn More About The Safeguarding Adults in Sport Framework

The Safeguarding Adults in Sport Framework is an online assessment tool. It supports sport and activity organisations to implement best practice in safeguarding adults.

The Framework helps organisations identify any areas of practice that need development. It also supports best practice and continued development in safeguarding adults.

It is now a requirement for all National Governing Bodies, Active Partnership and National Specialist Partners funded by Sport England and UK Sport in England to complete the Framework as part of their funding agreement.

Learn more about the Safeguarding Adults in Sport Framework in our online information hub.